SAN DIEGO — “Lord, what do you want of me?”
That’s the theme of the Evangelization and Discipleship Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Scripps Ranch.
The event will be the first diocese-wide conference on this topic to be presented in English since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manny Aguilar, director of the co-sponsoring Office for Stewardship, said the conference will explore the vital roles each person of faith is called to fulfill. The event will feature music, praise-and-worship and an opportunity to meet Auxiliary Bishop Felipe Pulido, who will lead the opening prayer.
“We are so excited for this conference,” he said.
Joseph Horejs, associate director of the Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry, the other co-sponsor, said everyone is invited to participate.
“We invite all to be fired up in understanding their mission to evangelize, and to send them out to do that work because we all know that that’s desperately needed,” Horejs said.
Koren Ruiz, founder and president of Stewards of God/Corresponsables de Dios, will lead a large-group discussion, reflecting on the question: “What is the Lord’s mission for our lives?”
“This initial talk puts into perspective our call as disciples of Jesus Christ and as faithful stewards for the Church’s mission,” Aguilar said. “Sometimes, (parishioners) don’t even realize they have a gift, but everybody has gifts to offer that God wants to accept.”
Based in Portland, Ore., Stewards of God/Corresponsables de Dios assists parishes, particularly those in the Hispanic community, to develop a culture of stewardship. In recent years, the two diocesan offices have worked with the organization to foster a stewardship culture in several Hispanic parishes and to host several Spanish-language conferences.
The organization has a history with Bishop Pulido, having brought their ministry to his parish when he was a pastor in the Diocese of Yakima, Wash.
“When I think about Koren’s ministry, I think about the words ‘evangelization’ and ‘conversation,’” Bishop Pulido said. “He delivers the message of discipleship in a conversation. He talks to people and asks them questions — he engages them in a soft conversation about God.”
The bishop said he admires that Ruiz invites his wife, Jessica, to serve alongside him at conferences.
“He projects himself as a happy husband,” the bishop said. “I think he is also preaching and evangelizing by the way he lives his life.”
Aguilar said that the couple will lead praise-and-worship during the conference, sharing their own God-given gifts. Jessica Ruiz serves as creative director of Stewards of God/Corresponsables de Dios.
There also will be workshops led by Father Edmundo Zárate-Suárez, pastor of St. Jude Shrine of the West Parish, and Maryanne Russell, director of Evangelization and Stewardship at St. Brigid Parish.
“Hospitality is key to fostering a community where people experience a sense of belonging, become engaged in parish life, and grow as committed disciples,” said Russell, who has served in ministry for more than 30 years. “Looking to Jesus as our model, we will explore the impact of welcoming people as they are and inviting them to take the next step.”
The session she is to lead will include practical tips for welcoming newcomers, forming leadership, communicating the message, and reaching out beyond the pews.
Registration is required by Thursday, Nov. 16, to attend the conference. The cost to attend is $20 per person, which includes lunch.
Information and to register: visit sdcatholicdisciples.net or call (858) 490-8232.